William ‘Strata’ Smith

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

William Smith was born on 23 March, 1769 into the family of a village blacksmith. He was destined to be a laborer all his life and could/should never aspire to be anything better. During his school years [probably up to age 10 or 12], he did well at geometry and drawing. Young William enjoyed rambling in the Oxfordshire countryside and collecting what people then called ‘curiosities.’ Those were fossils, embedded in the rock layers as they were laid down, one on top of the other. Smith taught himself surveying and after an apprenticeship, set himself up in business. In the early 1800s, two factors made lots of work for a surveyor: the search for coal to fuel the Industrial Revolution, and the need for canals to ship coal and other goods to consumers. As Smith directed the digging of canals, his eye was drawn to the layers of rock that were cut through and the fossils they contained. Although far from his home, here were the same fossils in a rock that looked very similar. He began to collect fossils and to study the rocks systematically. Soon, he could predict the order in which layers of rock could be found in an area. Smith traveled extensively, for work and for his own research, to collect rocks and fossils from across the United Kingdom, earning him the sobriquet ‘Strata.’ He realized that if rock strata could be mapped, that the recovery of resources in the rocks would be simplified. Coal miners knew about rock layers, but no one would ask them — they were common laborers. Smith tried to get backing for his work, but of course no one would listen to his ideas — he was a common laborer. At last, in 1815, Smith published a large format map: the first geological map of England, one that included descriptions of the rock strata and their identifying fossils. It is referred to as the Map that Changed the World. And it did. The beginning of the science of Stratigraphy and the importance of Geology as a science are due to that map. But his work was pirated, and Smith spent time in debtor’s prison until his brilliant and sensible insights were recognized. In 1831, the London Geological Society created a new award. The Wollaston Medal was awarded to William Smith, and he was hailed as the Father of English Geology. William Smith’s map and the fossils shown in it are on display at the Rotunda Museum at Scarborough. Smith was a remarkable man and his accomplishments show us that we should never judge a person’s mind or potential based on what we perceive as their ‘station’ or origins.

The stacked pancakes are like rock layers, strata, laid down by nature one on top of the other. The bottom one was there first: that is the Law of Superposition. The felafel is an Eastern Mediterranean treat made of chickpeas. We can see the connection between felafel in Syria and felafel in Egypt and felafel in Algeria — just as we correlate similar fossils found in widely-spread rock layers.

Cornmeal Pancake Breakfast:  303 calories 11.6 g fat 1.5 g fiber 7 g protein 32 g carbs 72 mg Calcium  PB Pancakes are rarely a diet food, but these delicate delights fit into our guidelines. What a treat.

2 cornmeal pancakes, recipe for full batch below 1 chicken breakfast sausage [33 calories] OR 1 oz scrapple 1 Tbsp maple syrup   Optional: blackish tea = 6 oz black tea [28 calories] with 3 Tbsp skim milk + ½ tsp honey

Prepare the batch of pancakes.  TIP: When cooled wrap the other pancakes in a zipper bag to freeze for subsequent breakfasts. Cook the breakfast meat on the griddle with the pancakes until crisp and brown. Plate with the pancakes and drizzle everything with maple syrup. Enjoy your tea with milk and honey.

Makes 12-14 pancakesGriddle or large cast iron skillet
½ c yellow cornmeal
½ c boiling water
Put cornmeal into a 1-Qt measuring cup and pour the water over it. Stir briskly until blended.
1 egg, beaten
½ c milk
Beat the egg and add the milk. Stir/whisk to combine.
¼ c/ half a stick butterMelt butter and add, with egg-milk to the cornmeal-water. Whisk thoroughly until blended and smooth. 
½ c white whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar 1 Tbsp baking powder
Whisk or sift these together to blend.Add to the wet ingredients and beat until smooth.Let sit while the griddle heats – this is an important step.
Heat griddle to medium-high. Spray it with non-stick spray or smear griddle with a bit of butter.
Use 3-4 Tbsp batter per pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the top surface of the pancake and break. Then cook on other side.

Felafel with Red/Green Salad: 287 calories 14.5 g fat 9 g fiber 11.6 g protein 29 g carbs 113 mg Calcium  PB GF  Looks great, tastes great, SO healthy. Win-win-win.

felafel patties  1 cup baby spinach leaves ½ cup red cabbage slaw** ¼ c pickled beets, sliced or cubed ½ hard-boiled egg, chopped 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp lemon juice

Thaw the felafel patties and warm them. If unbaked, heat them in a 400 F. oven for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the vegetables for the salad. Whisk the lemon juice and oil, then toss the salad vegetables in the dressing. Top with the felafel and the chopped egg. Quick and easy.

**RED CABBAGE SLAW  Serves 3-4  A very nice recipe from acouplecooks.com 

2 c. thinly sliced red cabbage  
1 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
Prepare and set aside.
3 Tbsp plain yogurt, drained
1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar or maple syrup
pinch dried dill
pinch celery seed
2 pinches Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper 
Drain 3 Tbsp plain non-fat yogurt through paper toweling for 15 minutes
Measure 1 Tbsp strained yogurt into a large bowl, then thoroughly whisk in these ingredients.
Add the cabbage and red onion and toss to combine.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday …………………………… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread 
Slice 70-calorie whole-grain breadstrawberries or mixed berries
tomato + large leaf of lettuce, such as Romainesmall-curd, reduced fat cottage cheese 
1 strip uncured bacon + cherries/peachBockwurst sausage
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday:………………………….. single portion for Thursday:

mesclun/baby greens + tiny shrimp chicken breast meat + dill pickle + slivered almonds
clementine + asparagus + mangoripe olives + red seedless grapes + plain yogurt
hard-boiled egg + mayonnaisewhipped cream cheese + crisp lettuce + capers
sriracha + garlic powder + lemon juicehoneydew melon + Romaine lettuce
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Cuthbert

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to The Sage Page who is now Following.

In the Anne of Green Gables books, by L. Maud Montgomery, Anne’s host family has the surname of ‘Cuthbert.’ That means that they might have come from Yorkshire or Suffolk, where the name is most common in England. In 634 CE, a boy named Cuthbert [‘bright avenger’] was born in Dunbar [now in Scotland, then in Northumbria] to a non-Christian family, although the area had been Christianized in the 620s. He was trained as a soldier. As a teenager, he was on night watch near a flock of sheep, when he saw a light descend from the sky, then reascend. Since Saint Aiden died that night, Cuthbert was sure that he had seen an angel come down to Earth to escort the soul of Aiden to Heaven. He was converted on the spot. After his stint in the army, Cuthbert entered the Abbey at Melrose where he was noticed for his piety and diligence. He was chosen as the prior of the Abbey in 664. That was the year of the Synod of Whitby, where the Christians of England decided to follow the Roman Rite rather than the Irish Celtic Rite. Cuthbert, as a respected mediator and a revered cleric, was sent to the Priory of Lindisfarne, to help them with the transition to the new form of worship. He preached and traveled widely from there, working miracles and being acclaimed as the “Wonder Worker of Britain.” In 676, Cuthbert needed to recharge his batteries, so he retired to a hermit’s life on a small island off Lindisfarne. He came out of retirement to serve as Bishop of Lindisfarne in 684. Again he retired to his island where he died on 20 March 687. But Cuthbert’s story does not end there. When the Viking raids began in the 700s, the monks of Lindisfarne carried their treasures across the causeway to the mainland — including Cuthbert in his coffin. For seven years the monks traipsed about Northern England, picking up the head of Saint/King Oswald along the way, looking for a safe place to lay Cuthbert to rest. At last their wagon/hearse broke down in Durham and the saint was buried in a new chapel. Cuthbert’s body [along with Oswald’s head] was entombed in a shrine at the Norman-style Durham Cathedral in 1104. The simplicity of the current shrine to Cuthbert is fitting for the ascetic monk. It provokes a sense of calm and reverence in the visitor. Saint Cuthbert’s Way is a hiking path which takes the more athletic pilgrims from Melrose, Scotland, where Cuthbert began his religious life to Lindisfarne, England where he died. An appropriate tribute to a saint who was widely-traveled before and after his death.

Kippered herrings will be part of our breakfast. The fish were common in the coastal waters of Northern England. The pie for dinner is from Whitby, site of the Synod that changed Catholicism on the British Isles forever.

Kipper Bake: 138 calories 7.5 g fat 1 g fiber 11 g protein 5.4 g carbs 90.4 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PG GF  Kippers and eggs are a classic combination for breakfast, and here they are in an easy bake.

One 2-oz egg ½ oz kippered herring ¼ tsp dry mustard, such as Colman’s 1 Tbsp reduced fat ricotta cheese 4 sweet cherries OR 1 oz apple   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

The night before: soak the kippered herring in warm water for 1-2 hours. Remove from water, rinse, and flake or chop finely.  In the morning: Spritz a ramekin or other oven-safe dish with non-stick spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 F. Whisk everything, except apple, together and pour into the baking dish and bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the fruit and have a fine day.

Whitby Fish Pie: 294 calories 15.4 g fat 2 g fiber 17.5 g protein 15 g carbs 139 mg Calcium This fabulous recipe is from Paul Hollywood, of British Baking Show fame. It is simple and delicious. Dear Husband and I loved it. HINT: This recipe is enough for two [2] people.

233 ml/1 cup skimmed milk ½ bay leaf ½ small onion
2 whole cloves [the spice]
Put the milk in a pan with the bay leaf and onion studded with cloves. Bring slowly to the boil, turn off the heat and let infuse for at least 30 minutes. Strain the milk into a measuring cup.
20 g butter
20 g = 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 40 g spinach, fresh or frozen
1 Tbsp chopped parsley salt & pepper
Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for a few minutes, then gradually stir in the infused milk. Increase the heat a little, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the spinach, parsley and some salt and pepper.
133g/3.5 oz haddock 133g/3 oz finnen haddie [smoked] 58 g/1.5 oz shrimp, cleaned salt & pepperSkin the fish and remove any pin bones. Cut into bite-sized pieces and put into a 4”x 6” dish with the shrimp/prawns. Pour on enough sauce to cover, gently mix with the fish and check the seasoning. 
Purchased puff pastry, 1/6 sheet ~47 g
Heat oven to 200°C/400F/Gas 6. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to form a 4×6” rectangle. Cut into 6 strips and form a lattice atop the pie. Bake 20-25 mins until pastry is golden brown.

Slow Days: Lamb Stew for Saint Patrick’s Day

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the Fast Diet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

Saint Patrick’s Day is an occasion that demands to be celebrated with special foods. No, not green beer. No, it doesn’t have to be Corned Beef & Cabbage. Look in most common cook books [James Beard, Fannie Farmer, Joy of Cooking, et alia] for ‘Irish Stew’ and you will find that it is made of lamb. Thus lamb, even better, lamb stew is appropriate for March 17th. When young Patrick was enslaved in Ireland, he worked as a shepherd — so there’s another reason to celebrate good Patrick with lamb. Most recipes are really plain and basic: cubed raw lamb, cubed potatoes, sliced onions, water, salt. We tried many of those recipes, and although they are surely authentic, they are just plain DULL.

How happy we were to find this recipe in the book Salute to Healthy Cooking by the French Culinary Institute! We prepare a large batch periodically, and serve it twice a year: on St Patrick’s Day in March and also in December during the run-up to Christmas. Lamb has much symbolic significance to Christians, so serving it during Lent and Advent makes sense to us.

Lamb Stew for two can double or triple!Need: saute pan + Dutch oven with lid + non-stick pan 
½ pound boneless lamb shoulder, cubed cooking spray
salt + pepper
Sear lamb cubes on all sides in a heavy pan spritzed with non-stick spray or oil. Cook meat in batches so pan doesn’t cool. Put cooked meat in a Dutch oven, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
½ cup onions, choppedPut onions in saute pan and cook until tranluscent with enough water to make them sizzle .
1 oz dry red wineDeglaze pan with wine, stirring up brown bits.
Heat the oven to 350 F. 
¾ tsp white whole wheat flour
water ½ Tbsp tomato paste
Sprinkle deglazed pan with flour and stir. Add to lamb in Dutch oven.
Add enough cold water to go to top of the lamb but not cover it. Stir in tomato paste.
1 tsp thyme  1 bay leafAdd herbs. Heat to a simmer over medium heat. Cover casserole and put in oven. Bake 1 hourmaking sure stew is not boiling. 
¾ c. carrots, cut in 2” batonsAdd carrots, cover pan, bake 15 minutes.
½ cup cubed potatoesAdd potatoes, cover pan, bake 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf. 
Salt + pepperAdd salt and pepper. Take off heat and cover until vegetables are cooked.
6 pearl onions, trimmed and peeled 1 cup/5 oz turnips, in 2” batons
water ½ tsp sugar  1 tsp butter
Put vegetables in a small non-stick pan with sugar and butter. Add enough water to cover the vegetables half-way up.
Simmer 10 minutes, uncovered, shaking pan occasionally. 
Plate stew with the glazed vegetables.
Here is the stew in all its glory, served with an individual Soda Bread from Friend Ann.

And while you are doing your Irish thing, the best item to go with Irish Stew is Irish Soda Bread. I usually prepare a batch in the morning, so we can enjoy them for breakfast. Then the remaining ones are served at dinner with the stew. The recipe that I use is based on the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, with a few tweaks.

Makes 12 individual biscuits or 1 large loafPreheat oven to 400F. Buttered cookie sheet.
1 cup white flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour 1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp butter
Cut the ingredients together, using two knives or a pastry blender.
Purists would do it with their fingers.
Non-purists might blitz this in a food processor.
½ – 1 cup raisins or currants 1 Tbsp caraway seedStir these into the dry mixture.
¾ cup buttermilk or soured milk – all of the milk may not be needed, or you might need moreAdd milk bit by bit, stiring with a fork, until the dough is moistened and forms a ball.
For 12 individual biscuitsRoll/pat out dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a 2” or 3” round cutter. Use a knife to mark an ‘X’ on top of each.
For one large loafGather the dough into a single ball, and flatten slightly. Use a knife to incise an ‘X’ on the top.
Bake at 400F 10-15 mins or 20 mins for large loaf
A portion of Irish Stew with a fruited slice of Soda Bread loaf.

100 Degrees

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

There are several ways to think of “100 degrees”: 100 W, 100 F, 100 E, 100 C. 100 W refers to the line of longitude that is 100 degrees West of the Prime Meridian in Europe. That line neatly bisects Canada, the United States, and Mexico. In the USA, it marks the region where the prairie grasses of the Great Plains end and the High Plains of the mountainous West begin, as delineated by John Wesley Powell in 1878. Degrees are also a measure of temperature. Temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit can be found at Death Valley, California, as well as locations in Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Iran, Israel, and the storied city of Timbuktu in Mali. But these are peaks, not constant conditions. Living at 100F for prolonged periods of time is potentially fatal. As temperatures rise around the globe, more locations will experience periodic temperatures over 100F, with deadly results. According to NASA, the mean high temperature of Earth is currently at 59°C. 100 E refers to the line of longitude that is 100 degrees East of the Prime Meridian in Europe. It cuts through six Asian nations on its way from the North Pole to Antarctica. At the temperature of 100 degrees Celsius, water boils at sea level. [equivalent of 212F] That was the criterion for the establishment of the temperatures in the Celsius scale. At the other end, at the temperature of 0C, water freezes. [equivalent of 32F] The sensibleness of those numbers is what makes the Celsius Scale favored by scientists around the world. Only certain extremophiles can survive at 100C on Earth. The planet Mars, farther from the Sun and with a very thin atmosphere, has a mean temperature of -65°C. In contrast, the planet Venus, enswathed in greenhouse gasses, has a mean temperature of 464°C.

The longitude line 100 E goes through South-East Asia. Our breakfast derives from popular ingredients of that region. The longitude line 100 W goes through the Heartland of the United States where corn is grown and made into delicious soup.

Chili-Crab ScrOmelette: 155 calories 7.5 g fat 1 g fiber 17.5 g protein 8 g carbs 56.4 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The inspiration for this breakfast is a popular street food of Singapore and Malaysia. When I read the ingredients, I was inspired to add those flavors to eggs. Marvelous!!

1½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  1 Tbsp catsup ¾ tsp Thai red chili paste 1.5 tsp soy sauce ½ oz crab meat pinch garlic powder 1.5 oz strawberries   Optional: blackish coffee[53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Combine the catsup, chili paste, soy sauce, crab, and garlic, stirring well to mix thoroughly. Heat a non-stick pan and spritz with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with the seasonings and pour quickly into the pan. Put a lid on the pan and cook undisturbed until the eggs are cooked and set. Fold the eggs as you plate them with the berries. The beverages of your choice will round out the meal.

Chicken Corn Soup:  159 calories 4 g fat 2 g fiber 12 g protein 20 g carbs 21.6 mg Calcium  PB GF — if using GF bread. This is how they prepare it in South-Central Pennsylvania – homey and flavorful.  HINT: makes 4.5 cups. 1 serving = 1 cup.

2 ears of corn 1 ½ c potato, cubed 3 c chicken broth, homemade ½ onion 4 sprigs thyme ½ cup chicken meat, diced   per serving: ½ hard-cooked egg, diced + parsley opional: 1 slice [1 oz] sourdough bread [add 100 calories]

Pour the chicken broth into a sauce pan, adding the onion and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until it cooks down to 2½ cups. Let stand off heat. Put the corn in a skillet with water half-way up the sides of the ears. Cover with a lid and steam for 5 minutes. Remove the corn and add the potato cubes to the water. Cook the potato for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove the potato from the water and save the cooking water. Chop the chicken and put it in the hot chicken stock to cook off the heat. Cut the kernals off the corn cobs and measure 1½ cups. Remove the thyme sprigs and the onion from the stock, and chop the onion. Put the corn and potato into the stock, along with the chopped onion and any thyme leaves you can remove from the boiled sprigs. Add ½ cup of the corn/potato water to the soup. Gently heat the soup until the chicken is cooked. Add salt + pepper to taste. Top each portion of soup with chopped hard-boiled egg and a bit of parsley. If you wish, serve with a slice of sourdough bread. This is truly the taste of Summer.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday …………………………… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg + yellow cornmeal 
kippered herringnon-fat milk + butter + sugar
reduced fat ricottascrapple + white whole wheat flour
dry mustard powder + applebaking powder + maple syrup
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday:………………………….. single portion for Thursday:

skim milk + onion + whole cloves + spinachfelafel patties + hard-cooked egg + dried dill
white whole wheat flour + butter + shrimpolive oil + lemon juice + cider vinegar
haddock + smoked haddock + bay leafbaby spinach + red cabbage + red onion
purchased puff pastry sheet + parsleypickled beets + plain yogurt + celery seed
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Hometown Heroine: Kingdom of Chitradurga

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Melanie O’Brien who is now Following.

Obavva’s husband had come home for lunch. His was an important job: he was a watchman on the walls of the Fort of Chitradurga and the kingdom was under threat of attack from Hyder Ali‘s forces. But for now, her husband, Kalanayak deserved a good lunch. Part-way through eating, he asked for some water, so of course she scurried out to the well to get some. The well was near a spot on the wall that had been scouted by Hyder Ali’s men. They had found a hole in the wall — just large enough for a man to crawl through on his belly. So a plan was made: during the lunch hour, when Kalanayak would be at home eating, a select group of fighters would worm their way through a ‘kindi,’ the twisting passage under the wall. Once all were through, they would open the gates for the attacking army. Easy-Peasey! But just as the first man was coming through the hole, he was heard and seen by Obavva. She quickly grasped the situation and also grasped the only thing at hand — a heavy wooden pestle called an ‘onake.’ Obavva smashed the onake onto the invader’s head, killing him. She dragged him a few feet away and went back to the hole to wait for the next man. Thus, one by one, she dispatched each member of the elite squad. Her husband came out, wondering what was taking her so long with his water, and found his wife splattered with blood and surrounded by a pile of dead men. Obavva had saved the Kingdom! In a sad twist of fate, that very day, she died. Was it the exertion? Was it horror over her deeds? Had she been wounded? No one will ever know, but today she is revered as “Onake Obavva,” a warrior against oppression. In Chitradurga today, there is an all-female squad of police called the Obavva Pade charged with reducing crimes against women in their area. Her spirit lives on.

Our flavors today are typical of foods in Western India.

Mumbai Morning:  134 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 9.5 g carbs 73 mg Calcium PB GF Nik Sharma remembers an omelette from his childhood which was described in the New York Times. He called it a Bombay Fritatta, but since Bombay is now Mumbai, I changed the name and some porportions. It is yummy.

1 two-oz egg ½ Tbsp red onion, minced ½ clove garlic, minced ¼ tsp canola oil 1/8 tsp garam masala 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes pinch salt 1/8 tsp turmeric ¼ oz feta cheese or paneer 3 oz melon   Optional:  5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Cook onion and garlic in oil until transluscent. Whisk egg and add all ingredients except feta. Spritz a ramekin [for 2 people, Dear Husband prefers to use a 4×6” oval casserole] with oil or non-stick spray and set the toaster oven at 350F. Pour egg mixture into oiled dish and sprinkle with feta. Bake 12-15 minutes. Plate with melon and enjoy your beverage of choice.

Fish Curry:  220 calories 1.6 g fat 8 g fiber 18.5 g protein 31 g carbs 71 mg Calcium   PB GF Based on Craig Claibourne’s “Anything Curry,” this is a meal that our family has enjoyed for years. 

¾ cup Curry Sauce   1½ oz carrot rounds  ¼ c cooked brown rice OR  ¼ cup boiled yellow lentils or one Naan Bread ½ cup cauliflower florets  2½ oz cooked fish   3 Tbsp peas ¼ cup diced tomatoes ¼ cup diced cucumbers

First, boil the brown rice or lentils. HINT: Check the package for cooking time and plan ahead. Boil extra and freeze the remainder for next time you have this meal. Steam or boil the carrots and cauliflower. Dice tomatoes and cucumbers. Warm the sauce, add the fish, peas, cooked carrots and cauliflower. Plate with the rice/lentils/naan and top with tomatoes and cucumber

Comparing Plans: The Daniel Diet

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

King Nebuchadnezzar decided to raise up a team of advisors, so he sent his agents out to find the best-looking boys to live at the palace in Babylon. [This sounds like a story of very bad intent, but it turns out much better, so read on.] Since the Israelites had been conquered by the Assyrians and were living in Babylon, four of the boys were Jewish: Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The entire cohort of lads were to be raised as wards of the king, and orders were given to feed them with the best delicacies [we can guess pork, wine, and honeyed yeast bread]. Since the foods they were offered were not Kosher, the Israelite boys would not eat them. Daniel told the servants to give them “pulses” [lentils, dried beans, chickpeas], with lots of vegetables, and only water to drink. The King, annoyed as we can guess, wanted to force them to eat his food, but Daniel proposed a test. If he and his friends could eat their food while the other boys ate the richer diet, after 10 days the King would declare which was the healthier way to eat. The King assented, as told in the Book of Daniel, Chapter 1, verses 12–16. “And at the end of ten days, [the four boys’] countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children who ate the portion of the king’s meat.” Daniel and his friends were not trying to lose weight — indeed, they gained weight. They were trying to keep to their own religious food traditions, even under pressure from the King himself. Today, this way of eating is called the Daniel Diet. If this appeals to you, be aware that it should not be a lifestyle but rather a temporary menu, a ‘cleanse’ in the common parlance. Nutritionists realize that when you cut out entire categories of food, you starve your body of valuable nutrients. If Daniel had been offered meats and fish that were Kosher, he would have eaten them. People who undertake this diet are advised to follow it for only 10-21 days and then to re-introduce meat +/or fish, eggs, and dairy. While it is indeed possible to live a vegan lifestyle, great care must be given to ensure that the menu is varied and provides all the nutrients you need. The Season of Lent is a good time to change how you eat, and to make healthier choices. Let’s see how the Daniel Diet and the 5:2 Fast Diet compare:

Is this food allowed on this diet…Daniel DietOn Fast Days
Fatty Animal protein: beef, lamb, porkNo Yes, moderation
Lean Animal protein: chicken, turkeyNo Yes, preferred
Eggs No Yes 
Beer, wine, cocktailsNoOn Slow Days
Grains, starches: farro, barley, unleavened breadYes in moderation
Nuts + seedsYes in moderation
Beans/legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeasLots Yes 
Seafood proteinNo Yes 
Apples, melons, pears, all other fruitsYes Yes 
BerriesYes Yes 
Leafy green vegetables: spinach, chard, kale, lettuceYes Yes 
Cheese No Some 
Vegetable oils: olive, canolaYes in moderation
Animal fat: butter, lardNo in moderation
Root veg: potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, carrotsYes Yes 
Above-ground vegetables: tomatoes, peppersYes Yes 
food with preservatives or added sugarNo Not recommended 
Protein from plants only Yes Plant + animal 
Higher fiberYesYes
Daily Carb intakeuncountedKeep it low
Complex carbohydrates: whole grainsYes Yes
Simple carbs: cookies, pastries, cake, yeasted breadNoNot on Fast Day
how long to follow this way of eating10-21 days only2 days a week, lifelong 
Number of days per week to follow the regimin Daily for 21 days2 of 7
Do calories matter?No only 600 on Fast Days

Daniel’s Breakfast: if your beverage is water:  278 calories 7.6 g fat 7 g fiber 7 g protein 45.5 g carbs 23 mg Calcium   if saving room for mocha cafe au lait:  218 calories 7.5 g fat 6 g fiber 6 g protein 34.5 g carbs 12 mg Calcium   PB  Daniel would have approved of this plant-based meal, suitable for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Remembering that Daniel would drink only water with his meals, not coffee or tea, you could add more fruit to nudge the calories closer to 300.

if your beverage is water:  ¼ c hummus** 1 oz whole-grain unleavened bread 3 oz melon 3 oz grapes  if saving room for mocha cafe au lait:  ¼ c hummus 1 oz whole-grain unleavened bread 3 oz melon 2 oz grapes 

Plate to please and have a rightous day.

**HUMMUS: makes 2 cups  PB GF Recipe from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. 1 Tbsp = 27 calories 1.5 g fat 0.6 g fiber 0.5 g protein 3 g carbs 1 mg Calcium ¼ c =  108 calories 6 g fat 2.4 g fiber 2 g protein  12 g carbs 4 mg Calcium

 1 can chickpeas, drained + rinsed 4 cloves garlic 1½ tsp salt 4 tsp lemon juice 5 T tahini pepper + cayenne to taste ¼ c chopped scallions/onions

Put everything in the food processor and whizz until smooth. Taste for seasonings. Freezes well. Variation: Add a few slices of cooked beet to obtain an amazing pink color.

Lentil Soup: You can prepare this soup with meat or without. Daniel would prefer it with no ham, nor other meat. vegan = 136 calories 0 g fat 6.6 g fiber 9.6 g protein 25.4 g carbs 48.5 mg Calcium  PB GF non-vegan = 170 calories 0.5 g fat 6.6 g fiber 15 g protein 27 g carbs 75 mg Calcium   PB GF This is how my mother made Lentil Soup, which always followed a few days after a meal of roast ham. The ham bone would be boiled in 3 quarts water with carrot, celery, and onion. The strained broth would go on to be the basis of the soup. HINT: This recipe makes 12 [twelve] cups of soup. One serving = 1 cup

Vegan Version 12 cups Non-Vegan Version 12 cups 
3 quarts water 
1 pound lentils
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
8 oz tomato sauce 1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped 
3 quarts ham stock
1 pound lentils
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped 
Combine ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Cook 45 minutesCombine ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Cook 45 mins. Add ½ cup diced ham. 
Save out what you need for dinner, freeze the remainder.Save out what you need for dinner, freeze remainder. Before serving, spoon 1 Tbsp dry sherry into each bowl. 

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday …………………………… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg + red onion1.5 two-oz eggs 
garlic + garam masala + turmericcatsup [no corn syrup] + strawberries
feta cheese + canola oilThai red chili paste + soy sauce
red pepper flakes + meloncrab meat + garlic powder
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday:………………………….. single portion for Thursday:

carrot + cauliflower floretschicken breast meat + potato
peas + tomato + cooked fish 2 ears of corn + onion
yellow lentils OR Naan 3 cups chicken stock
Curry sauce  + cucumberthyme sprigs + optional sourdough bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Hometown Heroine: Palmares

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to amazingtangledgrace who is now Following.

Brazil in the 1600s was nominally a Portuguese colony. The Europeans clung to the coastline, and built towns and plantations along the rivers, but the greater portion of the vast land was thick with jungle and inhospitable to the colonizers. To work the sugar cane plantations, 15,000 enslaved people were removed from Angola, joining enslaved indigenous people. To the enslaved, the thick jungles looked like freedom, and hundreds opted to take their chances in the forest. From 1605 to 1695, a flourishing ‘kingdom’ existed in Palmares, in the mountains of North-Eastern Brazil. At its peak, the quilombo was home to 20,000 maroon people. Together they set up a government and a judicial system, and successfully resisted periodic raids by Portuguese and Dutch military forces. A woman named Dandara had been born in slavery but had escaped to Palmares. Her husband, Zumbi, was born free, then enslaved, and then escaped. They opposed a peace treaty of 1678, which had been accepted by Ganga Zumba, Zumbi’s uncle and the leader of Palmares. The treaty would have given Palmares autonomy, but required them to return any escaped people to their oppressors. Dandara and Zumbi were both fighters, repulsing the many incursions by the Portuguese. Dandara was particularly fierce in wanting to resist recapture and to protect the freedom of all the free residents of the quilombo. She lobbied the ruler and everyone else to reject the agreement. Ganga Zumba was overthrown and Zumbi took his place. But that left the community divided. On 6 February, 1694, their community was destroyed by the military, despite Dandara’s best efforts. Some say she was captured and beheaded by the victors, others say that rather than be re-enslaved, she threw herself from the mountain peak. The story of Palmares is told in the graphic novel Angola Janga: Kingdom of Runaway Slaves. Zumbi was captured and beheaded on 20 November 1695. There is a statue to him in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The least we can do is to remember Dandara on 6 February.

Our breakfast features a popular Brazilian bread. Our dinner features salt cod, which was the food that was often fed to enslaved people in the New World.

Brazilian Breakfast: 233 calories 11 g fat 1 g fiber 11 g protein 25.5 g carbs 201 mg Calcium  PB GF – if made with all tapioca flour Here’s a breakfast to get a Brazillian out of bed in the morning: cheesey pao de queijo with bacon and fruited applesauce.

2 pao de queijo  1 slice uncured bacon [20 calories] 2 oz fat-free plain yogurt + 2 fl oz applesauce, unsweetened  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Prepare the Pao de Queijo in advance. Cook the bacon and stir together the yogurt and the applesauce. Plate with the Pao and that was simple.

PAO DE QUEIJO: makes 15 puffs. Each = 79 calories 5 g fat 0 g fiber 2 g protein 7 g carbs 44 mg Calcium  This Brazillian favorite is from thekitchn.com. Easy to make, with a super taste of cheese.

15 puffs, made with 1.5 Tbsp scoopbaking sheet lined with parchment paper
1/3 c olive oil ½ c water
½ c skimmed milk
1 tsp salt
Put in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring at whiles. Take off heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming up through milk.
2 c. tapioca flour OR  1 c. tapioca flour + 1 c. white whole wheat flour Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until all incorporated. Dough will be grainy and gelatinous.
Put dough in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat dough a few minutes at medium speed until it is smooth, and cool enough to hold your finger against it for several seconds.
2 two-oz eggsWith mixer on medium, beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Wait until the 1st egg is fully incorporated before adding 2nd. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
1 c. grated Parmesan cheeseBeat in cheese on medium speed until fully incorporated.
Scoop dough by onto baking sheets, spacing about 1½“ apart.
Put baking sheets in a cold oven and immediately turn heat to 350°F. Bake 10-15 mins, until puffed, dry on the outside, and just starting to turn golden-brown on bottoms.

Saint Kitts Salt Cod Stew: 243 calories 2.4 g fat 3.4 g fiber 39 g protein 14 g carbs 140 mg Calcium  PB GF A savory stew of salt cod and fresh vegetables is just the ticket for a filling meal any time of year. In the Carribean, this is served with a coconut dumpling, but they have a lot of calories so we won’t serve them today. Instead, there could be a flour dumpling from Fannie Farmer’s cookbook, or it can be omitted.

2 oz salt cod 2 oz bell pepper, any color 1 oz scallion 3 oz tomato 1 clove garlic ¼ c onion 1/3 c fish stock

Soak the fish over night in warm water to soften it and to remove some of the salt. Drain the fish, discarding the water, and flake or cut into bite-sized pieces. Cook the pepper, and the alliums in water or fish stock – NOT the soaking water – for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and fish, then cover and cook for 10 minutes. 

Religions: Methodism

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

John Wesley was an Anglican from his birth in 1703, to his death on March 2, 1791. At Oxford, where he and his brother Charles studied religion, they formed a club which promoted a strict method of study among the members. John was convinced that this is what it meant to be a good Christian: observance of all the rules. The club members were teased by fellow students for being ‘methodists.’ Upon graduation, he was called to the pulpit of an Anglican church in Georgia. On the ship on the way over, he met some Moravians who would be missionaries to the native population. During a storm, John was terrified but the Moravians were calm, pacifically singing hymns until the gale passed. When he asked them how they were able to stifle their fears, they replied, “Don’t you believe in Jesus?” Wesley sadly concluded that their’s was a type of faith that eluded him, and he began to doubt his calling. Once back in England, he went to Bristol to help a fellow clergyman with his growing congregation. His friend was a fiery preacher and John was uneasy at how the sermons would arouse the congregation’s emotions. But he saw the goodness of their faith and how they helped each other. Wesley believed that God’s grace was for everyone and not limited to a chosen few. John Wesley was superb at organizing the growing flock. The faithful were divided into ‘classes’ of 12, with a lay leader. They would meet and pray and share experiences, then plan to help the needy. Lay leaders met potential adherents where they were: in the streets, the fields, the factories, the mines, and told them about how God’s love would free them from sin. The lay leaders helped to increase membership — but it was more of a social movement than a religious group. The only “Methodist Church” that Wesley started was in the United States, when he sent two leaders there to organize. John Wesley did not want to supplant the Anglican Church, but to improve and revitalize it. “Methodists” embraced the once derogatory name, and had a wide-spread influence on the zeitgeist: a. The ideas of Methodists and their affect on people is illustrated in George Eliot’s novel Adam Bede, when Dinah Morris arrives in a village and begins to preach. b. Methodists were known for singing loudly, in and out of church, using any of the 6000+ hymns penned by Charles Wesley. c. “Methodist Punch” means a drink that is non-alcoholic. Today there are 40 million Methodists in 138 nations and not one of them is an Anglican.

The mackerel and leeks are typical foods of western England where Methodism took root. In the American Heartland, Methodists are known for good, plain cooking — nothing fancy, but wholesome and delicious. Our dinner might appear at a church picnic. Wesley, not wishing people to succumb to the temptation of gluttony, advised his flock to “eat less than you desire.” He might have been on to something: this article in Barron’s tells of a study in which people who ate fewer calories aged more slowly.

Mackerel-Leek ScrOmelette: 157 calories 9.5 g fat 1 g fiber 12.6 g protein 6 g carbs [6.2 g Complex] 61 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF If you can’t find fresh mackerel, substitute another high-Omega-3 fish like salmon or arctic char. 

1½ eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week  1 oz cooked mackerel 1.5 oz leeks ½ tsp Dijon mustard 1 oz strawberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait[65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Spritz a hot saute pan with non-stick spray and stir in the leeks and mackerel, to soften the leeks and warm the fish. Whisk the eggs with the seasonings and mustard. Pour into the pan and scramble to your taste or prepare as an omelette. Pour the beverages and plate the berries. Oh my!

Chicken Salad Sandwich: 283 calories 7 g fat 7 g fiber 26 g protein 35 g carbs 134 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread If you bought a chicken salad sandwich, it might ‘cost you’ 500 calories and 16 g fat. This sandwich is much less ‘expensive’ and tastes great.

2½ oz cooked chicken breast 2 Tbsp part-skim ricotta cheese 1 tsp yellow Sriracha  2 tsp chopped onion 2 tsp chopped celery 2 tsp chopped cilantro leaves salt + pepper to taste 2 slices 70-calorie whole-grain bread with seeds [such as Dave’s Killer ‘Good Seed’] lettuce + 1 oz sliced tomato ½ cup Swedish Cucumber Salad  

Shred or chop the chicken. Mix with the ricotta and flavorings, including Sriracha. Add more Sriracha if the mixture needs to be moistened. Spread on one slice of bread, lay on the lettuce and tomato. Top with the other piece of bread and plate with the Cucumber Salad. Good meal for a busy day.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday …………………………… single portion for Thursday:

pao de queijo hummus: chickpeas + tahini + garlic + lemon juice + onion
uncured baconwhole-wheat unleavened bread [or pita]
plain yogurtmelon
applesauce, unsweetened grapes
Optional smoothie
optional hot beveragewater

Dinner, single portion for Monday:………………………….. single portion for Thursday:

salt cod + fish stocklentils + bay leaf + thyme
bell peppers + scallion tomato sauce + carrot
tomato + garliccelery + onion
onionoptional: ham stock + ham + sherry
Sparkling waterSparkling water


How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to webcoder who is now Following.

‘Ned Ludd’, in woman’s garb, leading the attack.

On 27 February, 1812, Lord Byron rose to address the House of Lords on behalf of the so-called “Luddites.” For centuries, young men would become apprentices at an early age and spend years to learn the skills of a trade: mason, carpenter, clerk, weaver. It is no surprise that these trades were so much a part of the fabric of society that they became last names. To be a skilled artisan could ensure the welfare of the man’s family and a move to the middle class. Having a skill was important. In the late 1700s, machinery was perfected to weave and knit fabric. With this device, a hastily-trained employee could replace several skilled workers and the workers were angry. They were not against new things, they were against falling into poverty because their jobs were replaced by machines. See? Nothing is new! Supposedly, a young weaver named Ned Ludd destroyed one of the weaving frames in 1779, hoping to get his job back. Whether or not there really was a Ned Ludd, his name was repeated by other angry workers who called themselves ‘Luddites.’ At first, Luddites tried to negotiate for higher wages, better working conditions, and a pension fund for workers. When the requests were rejected, factories and factory owners were attacked by angry mobs, and angry industrialists appealed to the government for help. The UK passed severe penalties for industrial sabotage, including the death sentence. Lord Byron hoped to change minds in his impassioned maiden speech, saying, “Are we aware of our obligations to a mob! It is the mob that labour in your fields, and serve in your houses—that man your navy, and recruit your army—that have enabled you to defy all the world,—and can also defy you, when neglect and calamity have driven them to despair. You may call the people a mob, but do not forget that a mob too often speaks the sentiments of the people.”  Today, one says, “I’m such a Luddite — I can’t unlock my iPhone.” The original Luddites did not want to stop or destroy technology, they wanted a fair work-place and good jobs. We use the term these days to mean someone who is unfamiliar with technology or who doesn’t like it. Not the same thing. The Luddite movement died out in 1816, suppressed by a government unswayed by Lord Byron’s pleas. By then the Industrial Revolution was winding up and there was no going back. Humans have always used technology — we just have to use it to uplift our fellow humans, rather than oppressing them.

Our breakfast might have been enjoyed by a cottager before he walked over to his loom to begin his workday. Oysters were a common food for poor folks near the coast, as they were inexpensive sources of protein. Cheese was the product of ‘cottage industries’ of the early 1800s. Put them together, and a wonderful dinner awaits.

Cottage Breakfast with Egg: 157 calories  7.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 15 g carbs 38 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB  I wanted a breakfast that evoked a cottage in the English country-side, so here it is. The pan muffins are very good.

1 pan muffin** 1 oz applesauce one 2-oz egg: fried or hard-boiled or soft-boiled   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

HINT: I prepared 8 pan muffins from the 10-grain mufffin batter, cooked them, and froze them. I made the remaining batter into muffins to enjoy on Slow Days. 

**PAN MUFFIN each: 71 calories 2.5 g fat 1 g fiber 2 g protein 11 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium

These are a dandy little bread to add to a breakfast plate. You will see them also in Roman Breakfast.

1 cup dry Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal mix
1¼ cup buttermilk/soured milk 
Combine cereal and milk in a small bowl. Let sit 10 minutes
1/3 cup butter 
1/3 cup sugar 1 two-ounce egg 
Cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the egg. 
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp baking soda
Add dry ingredients and cereal/milk mixture. Stir until just combined. 
Heat a griddle or flat-bottomed skillet to medium temperature.
2 Tbsp batter for each pan muffin Portion out batter onto hot griddle/skillet spritzed with non-stick spray. Cook on both sides.

Take one pan muffin from the freezer the night before and let it thaw. Cook the egg to your taste and warm the pan muffin. Dish the applesauce, brew the hot beverage, pour the smoothie. What a sweet and easy meal.

Oyster & Bleu Cheese Piepie filling only, 1 of 6 servings = 116 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 5.6 g protein 5 g carbs [3 g Complex] 88 mg Calcium  pie with crust, 1 of 6 servings: add 193 calories [the entire pie crust for an 8” pie plate = 1160 or fewer calories]  PB GF  NB: if you want a GF meal, do not use any pie crust – especially not a purchased GF crust which is very high in calories. The pie makes a fabulous, indulgent meal but it is low in protein and fiber. For a very special treat, it is wonderful. The left-hand column gives the recipe is for an 8”, full-sized pie plate, which serves 6. The center column gives amounts to prepare a 6” pie plate to serve 4. HINT: leftover pieces can be frozen.

8” pie pan with pie crust 6” pie pan +pie crustRoll out dough + fit into pie pan. Crimp edge. Blind bake 15 mins. Remove foil and weights + bake until golden, ~ 10 mins or so. 
1 Tbsp butter 
½ c leeks
½ c fennel bulb ½ c tart apple
½ tsp ground black pepper pinch salt 
2 tsp butter
¼ c leeks
¼ c fennel bulb
¼ c apple
¼ tsp ground black pepper pinch salt 
Finely chop the leeks and fennel. Dice the apple. Melt butter in a skillet, add leeks, fennel and apple, and sauté on low until tender and translucent.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Heat oven to 400F.
12 oysters – we like East Coast oysters which are brinier

6-8 oysters

Put oysters flat in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Heat pan on medium high until water reaches 131F/55C, measured with a food-safe thermometer. Shut off heat and let sit on burner 5 minutes. Remove oysters from water and cool in a bowl. Open shells + a remove oysters, doing so over a bowl to catch the juices. 
4 oz blue cheese 3 Tbsp reserved oyster juice
1 egg white
2 oz blue cheese 1.5 Tbsp oyster juice
½ egg white  
In a separate bowl, mash cheese and add reserved oyster juice. Beat egg white until softly peaked and fold into cheese.
Spread leek mixture in pie shell. Spread cheese mixture on top. Bake 20 mins.
fennel fronds
4-5 asparagus stalks/person
fennel fronds 
4-5 asparagus stalks/person
Take pie from oven, arrange oysters on top. Bake 2 minutes more. Strew with fronds. Let pie set about 10 minutes, then cut in portions and serve with steamed asparagus.

Hometown Heroine: Perth

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to endureeverything who is now Following.

My grandmother, the family historian, told me the story of Catherine Douglass when I was a child. Since my gr-gr-gr-great-grandmother was a Douglass, my grandmother [she of the Christmas cookies] thought I should know how Catherine tried to save the King of Scotland and earned the sobriquet ‘Kate Barlass.’ When James I was King of Scotland, he did some things that earned him praise. He also earned the enmity of several powerful nobles [like his uncle and cousins] who determined to kill the king in order to advance their families’ agendas. On February 20, 1437, King James, his wife Joan and a few members of their inner circle were staying at the Blackfriars Monastery in Perth. A group of dissidents decided to use the occasion for assassination, and they had the help of the King’s steward. The King and Queen were in their room, getting ready for bed, attended by her ladies. One of the ladies was Catherine ‘Kate’ Douglass. A commotion was heard in the hall and the royal party guessed that danger was at hand. Someone knew that there was a sewage tunnel under the room, so the rug was raised and the King was lowered into a pit under the floorboards. Once, there had been a tunnel going out to the garden, but it had been walled-off because near-by games of lawn tennis were often interrupted when balls went into the tunnel. As the King hiding himself, Queen Joan told her women to secure the stout bar that would fasten the door to the room — but the duplicitous steward had removed it. Determined to buy time, Catherine put her arm in the brackets where the bar should have gone. Alas, a young woman’s arm is no match to 30 determined assassins — the door burst open, breaking Catherine’s arm. The murderers also knew about the sewage tunnel, the king was revealed when the floor was opened, and he was stabbed 23 times. In the mele, the Queen was stabbed and another lady was injured, but the women escaped to Sterling Castle. The exploits of Kate Douglass were written down in 1527, then repeated in translations throughout the century. Authors of the 1800s from Walter Scott to Dante Gabriel Rossetti amplified the story of Kate Barlass, and she caught the popular imagination. In a play by Sir Arthur Helps and in paintings, Catherine Douglass had her 15 minutes of fame. Her fame continues into this century with a fine song about Catherine and she lives on in the expression, “Katie, bar the door” which means “Watch out — trouble is coming.” That’s my grandmother’s story, and I’m sticking to it.

We don’t usually associate potatoes with Scotland, but both out meals have them as an ingredient. To make the potatoes more healthy, mix equal parts sweet potatoes and white potatoes to use in these recipes.

Tattie Scone with Egg: 145 calories 5 g fat 2.6 g fiber 8.5 g protein 18.4 g carbs 87 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg, scone, and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB  Tattie Scones have been part of a Scottish Breakfast ever since potatoes were considered fit to eat. Easy to make when you have left-over boiled potatoes.

One 2-oz egg 1 tattie scone*** 2 oz apple or pear  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Prepare the Tattie Scone [HINT: Do this the night before and cook them, too.] and keep warm or re-warm. Fry the egg to your liking. Prepare the fruit and beverages. Plate the scone, top with the egg. Plate the fruit and pour the beverages. Almost an instant meal, if you made the scone beforehand.

***TATTIE SCONES makes 3, each at 43 calories ½ cup mashed potatoes, no milk, no butter nb: I have made this successfully with half sweet potato/half white potato 1 Tbsp egg white 1 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2 Tbsp milk ¼ tsp salt ½ tsp baking powder Stir all ingredients together – batter will look like thin Cream of Wheat. 

Measure ¼ cup portions and pour into a heavy skillet which is well-seasoned or has been spitzed with non-stick spray. Spread out the batter to about 4.5” diameter. Cook slowly on one side until the scones are cohesive enough to turn over. Cook on the other side. Cool and store until you need them.

Cullen Skink:  228 calories  4.5 g fat 3 g fiber 26 g protein 20 g carbs 161 mg Calcium   PB GF  We found this old Scottish recipe to be divine!! Despite the low calorie count, it is very satisfying. Comfort Food with a Scottish dialect.

3 oz finnen haddie [smoked haddock] 3 oz milk small pinch ground cloves bay leaf ¼ cup onion, chopped 2 oz potato, diced 1 oz peas -OR- 3 oz asparagus, cut in 2” slices 1 tsp butter parsley for garnish

Skin the fish and put it in a small pan with the milk and bay leaf. Cook gently until the fish is warm. Remove the fish from the milk and break it into large pieces. Add the onions, potatoes, and cloves to the milk along with a little water. Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaf. Run the milk and vegetables through the blender [or use immersion blender] to a fine puree. Cook the asparagus. Return the fish to the pan with butter and the puree and heat. Add pepper to taste. Plate the fish and vegetable puree, sprinkle with parsley, and arrange the vegetable around the sides. You will want to eat this again!